A group of Irish celebrities have called on songwriters to boycott Eurovision 2019, which is scheduled to take place in Israel next May, reported news site Extra.
According to the report, “figures within the arts industry are furious the competition is to be held in Tel Aviv’s Expo Convention Centre next year after it was won by Israeli singer Netta Barzilai”, and are urging Irish television and radio network RTE not to enter in protest at Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
The Irish Campaign to Boycott the Eurovision in Israel 2019 has now secured the support of a further 20 public figures, “including actor Stephen Rea, and musical artists Mary Coughlan, Luka Bloom and the members of Kíla”. Former winner Charlie McGettigan has already backed the boycott.
“Calling on RTE not to participate and for musicians not to make submissions to the contest, the Irish campaign group warned the station that they could be left without a song after a group representing Irish songwriters said they will boycott next year’s competition in Israel,” Extra reported.
The other new endorsers include singers and musicians Grainne Holland, Tiona McSherry, and the members of FreeSpeakingMonkey, veteran LGBTQ campaigner Cathal Kerrigan, former Lord Mayor of Dublin Micheál Mac Donncha, actors Sorcha Fox and Donal O’Kelly, cartoonist Ian Knox, and John Douglas, the President of Mandate Trade Union.
The Musicians’ Union of Ireland (MUI) and Irish Equity, have also endorsed the campaign that has seen 60 public figures endorsing since June.
Speaking on behalf of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), Zoë Lawlor said: “Indeed, not only would performing in the Eurovision in Israel be a betrayal of the Palestinian people, but has the potential to be very damaging to an artist’s career.”
“Just as it was the right thing to do to respect the call to boycott apartheid South Africa, so it is with the Palestinian call,” she added.